Tesla autopilot, full self-driving modes not safe at all: US senators

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The US Senators have rejected Elon Musk-run Tesla’s claim that its autopilot and full self-driving (FSD) features are safe for driving, saying this is just “more evasion and deflection from Tesla”.

Rohan Patel, Senior Director of Public Policy at Tesla, wrote in a letter to the US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA) that Tesla’s autopilot and FSD capability features “enhance the ability of our customers to drive safer than the average driver in the US.

Patel responded to the Senators, who had raised “significant concerns” about autopilot and FSD. They also urged federal regulators to crack down on Tesla to prevent further misuse of the company’s advanced driver-assist features.

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According to The Verge, Patel described autopilot and FSD as Level-2 systems “which require the constant monitoring and attention of the driver.”

These features are “capable of performing some but not all of the dynamic driving tasks that can be performed by human drivers, he added.

The Senators, however, rejected his claim.

Despite its troubling safety track record and deadly crashes, the company seemingly wants to carry on with business as usual. It’s long past time Tesla got the message: follow the law and prioritise safety, – the Senators said.

The FSD beta mode recently resulted in a Tesla Model Y crashing in Los Angeles.

No one was injured in the crash, but the vehicle was reported: “severely damaged”.

The crash was reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has multiple and overlapping investigations into Tesla’s autopilot system.

Tesla FSD beta aims to enable Tesla vehicles to virtually drive themselves both on highways and city streets by simply entering a location in the navigation system, but it is still considered a level-2 driver-assist since it requires driver supervision at all times.

The driver remains responsible for the vehicle and needs to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control.

There have been several Tesla Autopilot-related crashes, currently under investigation by the US NHTSA.

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